Sloppy Joes Variations

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Sloppy Joes are quick and easy sandwiches to make. Their meaty filling is easy to stretch for a crowd. Plus, there are all sorts of variations you can make.

Sloppy Joes

Sloppy Joes are a cook’s best friend when it comes to casual dining that can feed a crowd on a budget. Not only is the ground meat filling easy to stretch to feed company, but it also cooks up quickly so that dinner can be ready in a flash.

One of the things I’ve discovered over the years is that you can create any number of sloppy joes variations with a few twists in the sauce’s flavor profile, the breads and rolls you supply, and the toppings you offer.

Sloppy Joes Variations

Now, I’m the first to say, I love the traditional sloppy joes topped with some dill pickles and shredded cheese, but I know from experience that there are lots of other ways to make your sloppy joes.

Check out these sloppy joes variations:

These Taco Joes are a great example. The sauce leans toward Cal-Mex with cheese, shredded cabbage, and jalapenos for the toppings. If you use a torta roll, you can continue the Mexican theme.

In my first Good Cheap Eats cookbook, my Sloppy Fo’s feature an Italian-spiced sauce with sausage and the filling is served on focaccia with Italian cheeses. So good, almost like a pizza sandwich!


photo source: Foxes Love Lemons

These Asian-Style Chicken Sloppy Joe’s from Foxes Love Lemons is a great example of tweaking the Sloppy Joe to suit all kinds of flavors. I love how the sriracha and soy sauce flavor the filling while an Asian slaw tops it all off.

In Not Your Mother’s Make-Ahead and Freeze Cookbook, I share my recipe for Sweet & Spicy Joe’s made with Jamie’s Spice Mix. My friend Tammy adapted that recipe with lentils as a way to stretch her meat purchase. You can grab her adaptation here.

This Sloppy Joe Panini from Lovely Little Kitchen is a great way to combine two great sandwiches in one. Yum!

My mouth is watering over this Enchilada Sloppy Joe from Taste and Tell. What a delicious looking sandwich!

If you love the concept of Sloppy Joe’s, then there’s really no limit to the different ways you can tweak it to make a great, quick-fix dinner.

What’s YOUR favorite way to make Sloppy Joes?


About Jessica Fisher

I believe great meals don't have to be complicated or expensive. There's a better way, and it won't take all afternoon.

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  1. Stephanie M. says:

    I have to admit I like a traditional sloppy joe. That’s the only way I’ll ever eat it. As much as I love cole slaw, my husband doesn’t so if I were to have that myself, it would be on the side. It’s kind of funny that there would be a post about sloppy joes today. Last week, I was thinking that I haven’t made them in a while and then I forgot about it. And now there’s this post; I guess it’s just time. I’ll put that in my meal plan in the next two weeks. Hubby will be gone all next week on a business trip so it will have to wait until he comes home.

    • I like them all. My family would prefer burgers, silly people.

      • Stephanie M. says:

        It never fails. So many times, I see a picture on your site and then I just have to make it. We haven’t had sloppy joes in quite a while now and I am going shopping in a couple of days and already have the ingredients that I need on the list. Can’t wait. Thanks, once again, for being so inspiring.

  2. sona says:

    I have tried several hyper links in recipes/etc and this is what I get…see below. Any help? Have never seen this before.

    The file ‘wp-config.php’ already exists. If you need to reset any of the configuration items in this file, please delete it first. You may try installing now.

    • We’ve been trouble shooting this since the weekend. Hopefully the problem has resolved for you. If not, please let me know. We “think” it’s fixed.

  3. Erin says:

    I like to have my sloppy joes on a baked sweet potato instead of a bun.

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